ACO Marine has begun marketing its next-generation Lipator and Lipatomat grease separators, following the successful development of a new pneumatic valve and the standardisation of component parts.
The range of treatment capacities has been increased, with the new stainless-steel Lipator and Lipatomat units capable of treating between 1 and 25 litres per second.
The result is a more economical high-end stainless-steel grease separation system capable of providing the highest level of treatment and performance which is now also available manufactured from composite materials. This combination of increased capacity range and material choice means that reliable grease separation is available for all vessel types and all budgets facilitating the treatment of galley wastewater and the protection of downstream wastewater treatment plants.
ACO Marine Managing Director Mark Beavis says the development allows the commercial shipping sector to treat galley waste fats, oils and greases more efficiently for the same cost as a traditional grease trap system and up to 50% less than existing grease separation systems.
“Based on market demand and feedback from our customers, we have modified the Lipator and Lipatomat products by bringing production completely in-house, reducing and standardising components and installing a new pneumatic valve to enhance operational performance,” says Beavis. “On installations where local working air is unavailable, a unit mounted micro-compressor is provided. These developments have allowed us to pass on to our customers the savings we have achieved in production and procurement, resulting in cost-effective grease separation solutions without impacting treatment efficiency.”
Treatment of grease is a huge problem for ship operators and usually dealt with by way of a grease trap. While these systems are reasonably effective if regularly cleaned, the reality is that congealed fat quickly accumulates, clogging up and damaging the pipework and, ultimately, the wastewater treatment plant.
“This is a serious problem,” says Beavis. “If grease enters a wastewater treatment system it not only dramatically increases the biological load placed on the system but it can reduce treatment efficiency to levels that are incompatible with wastewater discharge regulations. Unless grease is separated, wastewater treatment systems can be rendered inoperable.”
The build-up of grease can also result in rapid corrosion of holding tanks and treatment systems as fat deposits quickly break down the protective internal coating used in some older systems. “Once the coating fails, corrosion is rapid,” says Beavis.
While black water (sewage) discharge is heavily regulated, wastewater discharge streams from galleys, showers and laundries (grey water), is not. There are no internationally mandated rules, only local/national discharge requirements.
“Given grey water often contains a mixture of galley grease, oils and fats, biological pollutants, such as urine and blood, nano-plastics from shampoos and soaps, along with an increasingly wider range of other unpleasant substances, this wastewater stream is the most difficult to treat. Effective separation has to be carried out before this stream can be properly treated,” says Beavis.
ACO Marine is now actively marketing the new Lipator and Lipatomat grease separators in the commercial ship segment, particularly towards those vessels operating in environmentally-sensitive waters, such as the Arctic, Southern Ocean and Baltic Sea.